Author Phyllis Tickle says that every 500 years of so, Christianity has a rummage sale. It empties its closets of the old and restocks. That is happening now, though the transition is not complete, she says.
She says going from where the faith is now to where is will land is as big a change as what took place in the Martin Luther rummage sale. That is, Luther broke from the orthodoxy of the Catholic Church to establish Protestantism. The clean out of today’s Protestant church will be just as large, she says.
She cites three general changes in Protestantism. One is the breakdown in certainty. We can see that coming in the changes from rigid definitions of “sins”, like homosexuality to more tolerance.
Another is the erosion of authority being replaced by individualism. I have always said the cause of this change is access to information from the Internet.
A third is the falling away of biblical inerrancy. As Tickle sums the influence of the emerging church, dogmatic orthodoxy and claim to absolute truth will melt before a loving communion with uncertainty.
These changes are not being driven from above by authorities, but from those in the pews. I’ve long said what is preached from the pulpit results from what folks are thinking in the pews, not the other way around.
Sending old ideas from Christianity down the road is a wonderful thing. We can celebrate a religion that does not claim to know it all.
FaceBook, Red River Freethinkers